Coal Mining, Vancouver Island

COAL MINING, VANCOUVER ISLAND, began at Beaver Harbour near the north end of the Island, where the HBC and Royal Navy ships traded coal from the local KWAKWAKA'WAKW. The HBC established FORT RUPERT in 1849, installing a party of 7 Scottish miners to put the operation on a more professional footing. The company was ill-prepared for the miners and their families, however. Food was inadequate and housing non-existent. Moreover, the underground coal deposits could not be reached without extensive...

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